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UFC Fight Night 37 Live Coverage – Damn, it’s Early

Welcome to the UFC Fight Night 37: Kim vs. Hathaway live coverage, which, thanks to the joys of the UFC Fight Pass online subscription service, is coming to you live from Macau at 8am EST (and that’s for the main card – no way was I waking up at 6:20am to give you coverage of the prelims). Anyway, UFC Fight Night 37 features “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim versus long-lost Brit John Hathaway in a five-round main event, plus Matt Mitrione, Ivan Menjivar and a bunch of Asian dudes who neither you nor I have ever heard of. Also, supposedly it’s the finale for the first season of TUF: China, but I’ve never seen any real evidence that that TV show actually occurred. Enjoy the play-by-play and keep hitting “refresh”.

Prelim results:

  • Mark Eddiva def. Jumabieke Tuerxun via Unanimous Decision
  • Wang Anying def. Albert Cheng via TKO (Doc Stoppage) at 5:00, R1
  • Vaughan Lee def. Nam Phan via Unanimous Decision
  • Yui Chul Nam def. Kazuki Tokudome via Split Decision

Main card results:

  • Hatsu Hioki vs. Ivan Menjivar

Round 1: Sporting a serious height and reach advantage, Hioki starts off trying to keep Menjivar at the end of his jab and front kick. But Menjivar catches a foot and throws him down, and a quick scramble suddenly has the Japanese Shooto champ on the El Salvadorean-by-way-of-Canada fighter’s back. It takes a little work for Menjivar to escape, yet he does, and they play the man-hug game against the fence for about a minute. With about a minute and a half left in the round, Hioki gets the trip, and is soon passing his foe’s guard, taking his back, and totally flubbing an armbar attempt. The horn sounds with the two trading positions on the ground.

I give Round 1 to Hioki based solely on his positional control.

Round 2: The first two minutes of this frame see them peck at each other with single strikes mixed with clinch work. But Hioki manages another outside trip and soon is on Menjivar’s back and swiveling into an armbar. Menjivar escapes, has to escape a triangle choke attempt, and when he grabs a hold of his opponent’s neck, Hioki reverses him with another takedown. Another guard pass and two things becomes clear: Hioki has got a better top game, and he can’t sink armbars worth a damn.

Hioki takes Round 2.

Round 3: They start off the round doing the same probing, half-hearted striking exchanges, and then WHAM! Menjivar clocks Hioki in the noggin with an overhand right. Hioki falls to his butt, and a cut opens up over his right eye and starts gushing. The cobwebs are soon cleared from the Japanese fighter’s head though, and they go back to throwing one-off kicks and punches. With about 30 seconds left Hioki hits the takedown, and the horn sounds with Menjivar going for a heelhook.

I give Round 3 to Menjivar.

Official result: Hatsu Hioki def. Ivan Menjivar via Unanimous Decision

  •  Shawn Jordan vs. Matt Mitrione

Round 1: It takes only about two seconds for the two to starting winging bolos at each other, and since they’re about equal in terms of boxing skill and aggressive nature, their hate rate is pretty much one for one. The pace slows just a little bit in the latter half of the round, but after some brief time against the cage – and in the waning seconds of the frame – Mitrione flurries hard, penetrating Jordan’s defenses and sending him slumping to the canvas. The official time of the knockout is 4:59.

Official result: Matt Mitrione def. Shawn Jordan via KO (Punches) at 4:59, R1

  •  Sai Wang vs. Lipeng Zhang

Round 1: Supposedly these guys are the finalists of TUF China, but I have yet to see convincing evidence that the series actually happened, so we’ll just assume these are just two dudes fighting.

For the first two and a half minutes, the two men throw kicks and punches like they’re desperately afraid of getting hit. But then Lipeng gets the takedown and slips onto Wang’s back, and the action kicks into a higher gear. Lipeng comes perilously close to sinking a rear naked choke, yet Wang guts it out and reverses so he’s in Lipeng’s guard. Soon Wang is in back-mount hunting for a choke, and then they’re scrambling and Wang is back on top when the horn sounds.

I’d give the round to Wang for being slightly more dominant on the ground.

Round 2: Lipeng sees that his fortunes lie on the ground, so he commences his struggle to get the fight there. He’s moderately successful too, although at one point Wang whomps him with an illegal knee. The referee gives Wang a warning that neither fighters probably understands. Lipeng then tosses Wang to the canvas twice and nearly takes his back, but Wang’s escapes are money (yen?) and he ends up on top again as the horn signals the end of the round.

Round 2 goes to Lipeng for his slightly more effective grappling.

Round 3: Wang comes into the frame with a bit more vim and vigor, and he uses it to wilt Lipeng ever so slightly. From crisper strikes to more active grappling to just simple aggression, Wang controls and threatens while Lipeng seems to be one step behind. The round ends with Lipeng failing to get his opponent down and Wang grabbing him from behind.

Official result: Zhang Lipeng def. Wang Sai via Split Decision

Lipeng is your TUF China Season 1 winner – and the crowd isn’t happy.

  • Dong Hyun Kim vs. John Hathaway

Round 1: These guys waste no time banging it out – Kim rocking Hathaway with a pair of big punches, and Hathaway finding joy with some hard knees to the body. A dazed Hathaway manages to tie Kim up against the fence and even get him down, but sloppy stand-up fighting is their destiny, and that’s what they do. With just under two minutes left Kim drops the Brit with a left, and then it’s ground and pound time, with the South Korean dropping fists and an axe-kick to the body.

Round 1 goes to Kim for sure.

Round 2: Despite all the punishment he took in the first, Hathaway comes out the fresher fighter, and he’s the aggressor in the second frame. His clinching and takedown attempts are met with the brick wall of Kim’s judo credentials, but he lands quite a bit more on the feet. With about a minute and a half left in the round, Kim tosses him to the canvas and takes charge from side-control, dropping elbows and fists.

Round 2 probably goes to Kim for that last minute and a half of tough love.

Round 3: And just like that, it’s over. Hathaway comes out and steps forward throwing an elbow, and Kim dodges it, spins, and lands an elbow of his own right on the sweet spot. The Brit drops, completely out cold. Wow!

Official result: Dong Hyun Kim def. John Hathaway via KO (Elbow) at 1:02, R3

Kim made watching this event this early on a Saturday morning completely worthwhile.

Anderson Silva Signs With Talent Agency, Could Be Looking To Break Into Hollywood

Maybe this horrific leg injury has caused Anderson Silva to think twice about his future.

While Silva sounds as if he wants to make a return to the Octagon this year, he has also signed a deal with ICM Partners, according to a report by Deadline.com.

ICM Partners is a talent agency that works to get actors and actresses into acting roles for both films and television, along with producing gigs, publishing spots and endorsement deals.

Silva was the subject of “Like Water,” a documentary that won Pablo Corce best director status as the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Current UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey signed a deal with a talent agency similar to ICM and has since been cast in several major-motion pictures.

The 38-year-old Brazilian currently has sponsor deals with the likes of Burger King and Nike.

Nevada Athletic Commission Does Away With TRT

The Nevada Athletic Commission passed a motion to ban therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy during a meeting Thursday.

Skip Avansino, commission of the NAC, made the motion to ban TRT, which was supported by Pat Lundvall. The NAC regulates all contests and exhibitions of unarmed combat within the state of Nevada, including licensure and supervision of promoters, boxers, kickboxers, MMA fighters, seconds, ring officials, managers and matchmakers.

The commission voted unanimously to approve of the ban, and those that have previously received exemptions will see them expire.

Lundvall, also stated that the NAC should push other states to follow suit in order to avoid states becoming magnets for those who want to use fighters with exemptions.

In the UFC alone, fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir and Antonio Silva have been granted TRT exemptions for fights.

Belfort’s name is of special interest because after three straight fights in Brazil, he is scheduled to meet Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title in May.

The UFC issued a statement through president Dana White in support of the decision.

“The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.”

Dale Earnhardt Offers Chael Sonnen Driving Advice

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. claimed the checkered flag this past weekend at the Daytona 500, and earned himself an interview on “UFC Tonight” Wednesday evening.

Earnhardt, who’s nephew, Jeffrey Earnhardt, is training MMA, was asked if there is anyone in NASCAR he’d like to throw down with inside the cage.

“I’d like to go against my friends,” he said. “Martin Truex, Jr. maybe Jimmie (Johnson). That’d be fun to see who would win.”

As for himself, Earnhardt said “When I was young, I had a boxing ring for years. Me and my buddies would get in there and go at it for 10 rounds.”

Junior also provided Chael Sonnen with some words of advice, as Sonnen will be driving the pace car at a race in Phoenix this coming weekend.

“You’re going to go about 60 miles an hour,” he said. “There’s two walls on either side of the track, just stay in the middle of them.”

Vitor Belfort Goes From Mini-Fro To Mini-Cross

It’s hard to believe Vitor Belfort’s Mohawk hairstyle could be more outrageous than that – a Mohawk.

Well, it appears “The Phenom” has found a way to take it to the next level.

Belfort posted a picture of the back of his head, with a cross cut into his hair and a mini ponytail, along with the following on his Instagram account:

“Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee Shall prosper, and every tongue shall rise against thee que in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and Their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; every tongue that dares against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn; This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. New cut and then u have audacity. Live to please God only”

Belfort is slated to face Chris Weidman in May for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 173. No word yet on if the cross will still be present for that fight – or when Belfort will find out if he can use TRT or not for the contest.

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